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Consistent staking in gambling

I have alluded to this in other parts of this site, but, following some correspondence with a fellow punter, I thought it may well be worthwhile to look further at the issue.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that at least two thirds of the battle to stay in front in racing is the method in which you stake - that % may even be higher! But hey, we all like to think we are terrific judges of form and flesh, so let's leave it at two thirds and stroke our egos a little more and leave that debate to another day.

Mark reckoned he had settled on a formula of success and could reasonably expect to be able to pick a trifecta in four choices quite regularly with some trifectas every now and again paying substantial sums of money but every time he tried to implement his pathway to riches it seemed to go wrong. He was well aware that to box his 4 choices cost $24 a throw, and while the promise of riches was there, if he was doing 8 races a day (gee they'd need to be exceptional days other than Saturdays to find 8 to bet on) he was up for $200 a day in outlay - not an insubstantial amount to find in losable dollars.

Carry that $200 a day forward and you are looking at $1400 a week. Probably not an impossible ask for a lot of folk but what happens after 4 weeks of it if you have started the endless conveyor belt ride at the beginning of a losing sequence when this infallible system is having an unavoidable down trough?

So sensibly, as he was still "trying this out", he opted to play with $4.00 flexibet (well, $3.90 actually) to take about 16% of the normal unit - well, whatever normal is supposed to be these days according to the folk at his TAB who would love him to be punting $24 a race. But then followed the "dramas"........of course, always does!

After a few days of making no headway and having a lean trot compared to his long term tested average, and, yes, he told me he's been testing for a considerable period, his allotted "few hundred dollars" he had put in his tote account was under severe stress and while he had picked up a few trifectas, they hadn't paid much and his bank was headed south.

So, as we are all tempted to do in times of stress, he did a re-think of the strategy, and changed from a boxed 4 trifecta play to just taking his top pick as a standout and then coupling the others - so he went 1x3x3x3 which, while his flexi tri cost the same, $4.00, his stake in the normal unit play rose to about 41% which was a great help in smaller paying trifectas.

I'm sure that you, as an astute punter, can write the rest of the story. Not three races went by when a trifecta that he would have snared using the normal boxed approach saluted and paid well over $2000 (of which he would have received 16% - not bad for a $4 invest) but he missed because his top pick ran 4th and his 4th selection won at more than $20 with the other two filling the places.

So now he's switched back to the normal boxed 4 approach! (Gasp). A few days is NOT a reasonable time frame in which to make hopefully correct judgments about any staking or selection ideas if you are going to be betting on an idea for the next year. Let's say Mark was going to follow his plan for the next 12 months and let's say he was going to find 10 races a day to play with it. It means he could be betting on 3650 races.

And after 4 days at 10 races a day he pulls the pin and changes it all? So after spending all the time developing his idea and mentally committing to it for the next year, he changes his approach after just a little more than 1% of his potential investments are going south? And you have to take that long term view or you are doomed to failure unless you are incredibly lucky and very few are for any extended period.

Long term success depends on you having the right approach to BOTH selection and staking with the latter, in my opinion, having a greater importance than the former.

I know it is a well used phrase but the money you are playing with has to be just that - playing money - money that is not essential for anything else or the mental pressure to make a substantial % of correct calls becomes too much and the inevitable swapping and changing occurs and, well, you know the rest of the tale.

Once you have established EXACTLY what "playing money" you have, you can work out the correct level of investment to make per race, per day, per week, per month, per year. Sound all too fiddly for you? Well, if it is, good luck and may you have a ton of it.

In property dealings it may well be "position, position, position". In gambling it is, without doubt, "consistency, consistency, consistency".